New Polar Satellite System To Bring More Accurate Weather Forecasts

Boulder's Ball Aerospace, NOAA primed for polar-orbiting satellite launch has been seven years in the planning

Boulder's Ball Aerospace, NOAA primed for polar-orbiting satellite launch has been seven years in the planning

The delay was due to the detection of boats within the safety zone of the launch at the last minute, as well as a "bad reading" on one of the rockets to which the satellite was attached with "insufficient time to fully coordinate a resolution" according to Space.com and NASA.

Liftoff for the $1.6 billion dollar mission of the Joint Polar Satellite System Program was scheduled for early Tuesday morning at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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"It's always exciting to launch a satellite", Asbury said Friday.

JPSS-1 is planned to be placed into a non-geosynchronous polar orbit that will allow for a almost complete coverage of the entire Earth's surfaces twice in each 24-hour period with state-of-the-art instruments that are expected to aid meteorologists and other scientists and researchers to better predict severe weather phenomena such as hurricanes up to seven days ahead of the incident. It will also allow researchers to anticipate other extreme weather events like hurricanes. As it works, JPSS-1 will gather measurements of atmospheric, terrestrial and oceanic conditions, including sea and land surface temperatures, vegetation, clouds, rainfall, snow and ice cover, fire locations, atmospheric temperature, water vapor and ozone. Each will circle the globe 14 times a day, 50 minutes apart and provide full, global observations for USA weather prediction.

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"Eighty-five percent of the data flowing into our weather forecast models come from polar-orbiting satellites, such as Suomi NPP and the new JPSS series", said Louis W. Uccellini, Ph.D., director of NOAA's National Weather Service. "JPSS will continue this trend", he added.

The launch of the Delta 2 rocket has been rescheduled for Wednesday, at 1:47 a.m. PST.

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The ATMS instrument is the second flight model and is slated to fly on the first JPSS satellite in 2016. Instruments on board were designed by Ball, along with Raytheon, Harris and Northrop Grumman. JPSS-1, which will be known as NOAA-20 when it reaches orbit, will join Suomi NPP, the joint NOAA-NASA weather satellite, giving the USA the benefit of two, sophisticated polar satellites in the same orbit.

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